The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

14 August 2007

Don Imus CBS Settlement, WABC Speculation


NYC Talker Denies Meeting With Imus, Host Could Go To WOR

So much for Don Imus giving Curtis & Kuby the boot!

Pouring cold water on Drudge- fuelled rumors of a move to WABC, its general manager is denying that any talks have taken place with the crusty host about taking over the station's morning show.

Did the I-Man want us to think he was being courted by parent company Citadel Communications?

From al-Reuters tonight:


With the settlement done, focus shifted to who might hire Imus, who was on a 5-year, $40 million contract when fired.

Unconfirmed media reports have mentioned Sirius Satellite Radio and New York radio station WABC, which is owned by Citadel Broadcasting, as possible suitors.

But Steve Borneman, the general manager at WABC, said no one at WABC, Citadel nor ABC had been in talks with Imus.

"I wish Mr. Imus well, but we are happy with our morning show (hosted by Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby)," Borneman said.

A Sirius spokesman declined comment on Tuesday, but CEO Mel Karmazin, a former top executive at CBS, told Fox News Channel last week: "The fact that he had been fired wouldn't stop me from having Don work for me again. He makes you a lot of money."

Despite the negative publicity, Imus is capable of generating tens of millions of dollars in advertising revenue a year through high ratings, experts say.

"If someone is in negotiations with him, they have done enough due diligence with their advertisers to know revenues will increase and advertisers will support it," said employment and entertainment lawyer Barry Peek, a partner in the law firm Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C.

"I would think it's going to be quick," Peek said of an Imus comeback. "For Imus, time is of the essence. Out of sight, out of mind."

In any case, Sharpton said he would be watching.

"Wherever he resurfaces, we at National Action Network and other groups will be watching and monitoring him," Sharpton said in a statement. "Mr. Imus has the right to work but we have the right to make sure that this repeat offender does not return and continue what he has done historically."

Glad to know Rev Sharpton has such high standards.

Meanwhile, there are bigger questions emerging from the Imus story: why was CBS willing to shell out $20m rather than simply put him back on the air and save a bundle?

Think of it this way: CBS is willing to pay a huge sum to be rid of the I-Man rather than re- hire him! What does that say about their assessment of Imus in the current media landscape?

Another question: why did the mainstream media fall for the WABC angle based only on Drudge's mystery source? Our unnamed industry person thinks Imus could actually end up on WOR 710 AM and is asking for about $8m annually.

WOR's current morning show is pulling a puny 0.7 share in the crucial 25-54 category, which Imus could probably beat. But $8m? Could he possibly be worth that kind of money?

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. New: the Entercomedy continues!

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately purchase, help to further this site's efforts.

Or, if you would prefer,
please contribute at the Honor System box in the upper right corner. Thanks again!

Technorati tags:


Post a Comment

<< Home

Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger